Can we dream of a society without jail? Or more reasonably
of a world with less jails? In France we are not going in this
direction. Our prisons are saturated with people; the new government
is planning to build new jails with 11000 cells. We
were having the same problem fifteen years ago. To face an excess
of population in the prisons, new ones were built with 17 000
cells. This means that a solution has not yet been found.
- Building more jails will not bring more security. Society
thinks of protecting itself when instead confinement increases
the number of habitual law offenders. The stay in a prison tends
to destroy a person, and only a few manage to live a normal life
after being released from jail.
The prisons are at the image of the society. They are the reflection
of a society of competition, of inequality, of exploitation of
some for the benefit of others. A society that is making losers
necessarily generates violence and insecurity.
It is not all. Our society is producing law offenders that
are becoming more and more younger and more and more violent.
- To face this situation, the government uses repression.
Centers of confinement for minors are being planned again.
About thirty years ago, in 1979, these sinister Centers of confinement
for minors were closed on the ground of how bad they were for
the youth. But today we are ready to sacrifice the young for
the sake of our security. Because security is the major concern
of the French, one prefers constraint to education.
It took a long time to suppress corporal punishments and death
penalty. We will need also a long time to get rid of all kind
of confinements that prevent the person from rehabilitating to
a normal behavior. Society has to choose.